Mount Hekla with a glow reflected in the clouds

 

hekla lava

 

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Introduction
This is borne out of an experience I had whilst coming to understand and prescribe Hekla Lava. There is a lot in this remedy that is not yet unearthed, particularly in the mental symptoms and the essence. It is the beginning of an ongoing study for me, and I hope it is stimulating for you. There is nothing here that is intended to be definitive.

The Material
The finer ash from Mount Hekla in Iceland, falling in distant localities. The ash nearer to the volcano is said to be inert. Contains silica, alumina, lime, magnesia and oxide of iron. (Clarke). From the Volcano World site, the chemical composition is listed as:

SiO2 TiO2 Al2O3 FeO MnO MgO CaO Na2O K2O P2O5
54.7 2.00 14.41 11.5 0.26 3.10 7.32 4.11 1.23 1.17

FeO = FeO total

There is another table of composition at http://www.exploratorium.edu/theworld/iceland/ where there are also other details about Hekla eruptions, and a large a large amount of photos of the 2000 eruption. Some eruptions (2000?, 1980, 1970, 1311?) have also contained a high degree of Fluorine coinciding with mass fatalities amongst livestock. From examination of symptoms in the materia medica, it is most probable that ashes from these eruptions were the ones used for the remedy.

Eruptions and Lava
Mount Hekla is a 1491 m high located in the south western part of Iceland about 70 miles (110 km) south east of Reykjavik and 35 miles (55 km) inland from the southern coastline. Here is a satellite picture from 26/02/2000 showing the location and the extent of the ash. It is regarded by some as a stratovolcano, but others argue that it more closely resembles Hawaiian shield volcanoes. It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has terrified the inhabitants of Iceland since it was settled by Ingolfur Arnarson.

The largest eruptions date from 1104 and 1766. Recent ones were in 1991 and 2000. The February-March 2000 eruption was Hekla's third eruption in 20 years. The craters are usually filled with snow and there is usually a cloud floating above.

Websearches brought up the following information:
A Hekla eruption characteristically starts out with an explosive phase that usually lasts for a few hours and then proceeds to erupt large quantities of lava over a period of several weeks.

(From this it could be predicted that the remedy tends to have an associated action which is intense over the first few hours then an ongoing letting off of steam for a few weeks. This is something to observe and check in actual cases.)

The Thjorsa lava flow, possibly the largest post-glacial flow in the world, covers around 770 sq. km. and flowed 130 km from its point of origin.

1104: After a least 250 years of sleep, Hekla erupted violently with an explosive eruption that sent tephra northward, covering more than half the country.

1970: After a 22 year interval of inactivity Hekla came back to life, first shooting a huge ash-laden cloud to a height of 15,000 meters, and then covering a 40,000 sq. km. area with ash. This ash had high fluorine content (800-2,000 ppm) which poisoned over 7,000 sheep in the local area. This eruption's breakthrough points occurred along the Hekla's south-south-west and north-east slopes.

1980: On the 17th of August Hekla started erupting explosively first from the summit area and then spread along the whole 4.3 mile (7 km) fissure. The eruption column of steam and then dark tephra reached an altitude of over 49,000 ft.(15 km). The maximum tephra thickness for this eruption was reported ~ 6 miles (10 km) north of the summit with a depth of 8 inches (20 cm). The fluorine content in the tephra was high enough to cause heath problems with livestock. Lava started to flow from the summit of Hekla and continued along the length of the fissure, all together forming four separate flows. The largest amount of lava was erupted within the first twelve hours and by August 20th the only activity left was eruptions of steam.

Iceland is the site of the largest single lava flow in recorded global history. In 1783, an eruption at a mountain called Laki tore a chain of giant craters in the earth. Besides releasing 2.9 cubic miles of lava and inundating 218 square miles of land, the craters also belched a haze of toxic particles into the air, which was reported as far away as Syria. The poisoned air devastated Iceland's livestock and farmland, contributing to a famine that killed about a quarter of the island's residents. Not Hekla, but it gives an impression of the nature of these eruptions.

Here, http://www.ismennt.is/vefir/earth/mhpub/netdays/nemi/hekc1.htm , are some personal experiences of Mount Hekla and it's eruptions.

The Name
According to homeopathy texts, Hekla is Icelandic for cloak. The current Icelandic translation is "crochet hook" or "to crochet".
In a Faroese dictionary, it seems hekla is the step of a cock, or a kick from its spurs - and links into the idea of hook. It can mean just to tread. Hekk means to be hanging, stuck or dependent on.

An Icelandic friend suggested the following:
".... the mountain is the most infamous in Iceland - folklore has it as the entrance (or one of the entrances) to Hell; our Icelandic dictionary says hekla means a crochet hook, but I think it must be connected to the root HEK found in Hexe, German for witch, and English to put a HEX on someone - sort of Black Witch Mountain".
Icelandic is a North Germanic language closely related to Faroese and some West Norwegian dialects. The island was first properly settled by Norwegians, and later became Danish when the lineage of the Norwegian monarchy ended and Norway was merged into a kingdom dominated by Denmark. Heks is current Danish and Norwegian (and Dutch) for hag or witch.
The Old Norse suffix "-ligr" (modern Icelandic "-legur") is used the same as the Old Norse word "liga", which has the same meaning (and etimology) as the English "-ly", meaning similar to, or like. So its possible "hek liga"/"heklegur"/"hekligr" (literally meaning witch-like) could have been shortened to hekla over the years.
Maybe I'm pushing for a witch type meaning, but I since found at Fact Monster, that Mount Hekla is a legendary gathering place for witches. I've also read that people used to believe that there were big black birds that attacked everything that approached the mountain. Maybe in the past this was true, though now few birds are found in the area.
The above is interesting, and certainly offers a different flavour than "cloak" conjures up. Any further information on this is very welcome.

Southeast flank of Hekla on January 19, 1991

Provings
My first sense of it is its rawness.
Ashenness, hard, dry, dusty, grey.
Eruptive, powerful, though mainly dormant.

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I focused on it listening to Cover Me (Plaid Mix), from Hyperballad. (If you have Real Player, and you're online then you are, hopefully, listening to "Cover Me" by Bjork. If you can't hear it now, click here).This reminded me more of the rawness, plus the Staphisagria sensitivity. Also, there may well be some element of quirkiness, something eccentric and sensitive, maybe more like Sulphur? The idea of the cloak is interesting. There is maybe something unexpressed and hidden, and lurking there, or maybe it is more to do with a covering e.g. the tissues on the bone ? I feel there is a darker side to it which so far hasn't been expressed in the provings or literature. (Maybe related to the translation of Hekla to cloak, which may be hiding the witchy hexing aspect... interesting.)

On talking to Diane Murray (a colleague in Bristol), themes around eating and isolation came up. Also, as she had recently been there, in our conversation there was a strong sense of the environment of volcano, hot geysers, frozen waterfalls and moonlike landscape. Mount Hekla is away from people, very isolated, unlike other volcanoes such as Stromboli with it greenery, vegetation and people living half way up. Many of the physicals focus around the jaw and teeth. There is also the drying up of milk aspect which led me to connect with a sense of not feeding. This not feeding feels at a deep level, the baby, jaw necrosis, isolation, non verbal. There are the mentals of suppressed emotions. I wonder if these may be as of those in a neglected or deserted child. Iceland itself is relatively isolated, in cold surroundings. Its land mass is still forming through volcanic activity. The suppressed forces feel like they are both childlike and plutonic in nature. The music of Bjork reflects a lot of this for me.

I made a Hekla 1M by "meditation" which I've dropped off to my patient (whose tooth pain from dubious dental work that had been troubling him for two months healed over a few days and has stayed away - 12/9/00). I felt incredibly clear and energised whilst making it; it felt very windy and desolate as I sort of blew the essence in. When making the remedy I felt:
Wind, cold wind rushes through the land, a settling of fine dust permeates and disturbs. It blocks the fine vessels, and sets hard. It is immovable, without violent eruption.
After making the remedy, I had definite doubts about anything actually being in there, much the same as when I made up the Venus remedy - well it IS pretty weird! - but did find I had an energy about me, a momentum that I was trying to allow to flow. That evening, 9/3/00, whilst Rosa (9 years old at the time) and Suzanne (my partner) were getting ready to go out i.e. things were a little hectic (heklic?!), I gave Suzanne the bottle to hold and she came out with it feeling like a lot of space, very spacey..... not really concentrating as she was directing the getting ready, so I passed it on to Rosa, just to see if she felt anything. Now, either she was picking up on it from me or the bottle, who's to know, but what she said was startling. I wish I'd recorded it on tape, but here is what she said (including subsequent clarifications).

" Its sort of pphhhffff! It feels like plastic when it's been in the sun (S had warmed the bottle up...?). Earthy, very earthy.....

A pyramid. As if I am in it looking up to the point. It is pale, sky blue with white speckles which are air rushing past. The pyramid is like an icicle, all dripping down, not stable. It has a (red?) rose inside, facing me.

I get blue (dark, navy blue) and green (dark turquoise).

(Where do you feel it in your body?) Head, abdomen, knees and hands. (In your muscles, joints, bones or somewhere else like the bits in your tummy, or is it a headache?) In my bones.

Blue rivers, thin. Also lightning, blue lightning.

Fire and ice.

A circle of fire above something like a (remedy pill - small, round white sugar) pill.

A lion.

Yellow raindrops. Dusty, lots of little bits. Brown speckledy dust, coming out of something like a grinder, though that was in the peripheral of my vision. It was going round in a spiral, like when Tinkerbell throws her magic dust and it sweeps round (in an arc) and slowly settles.

Image of a plant, like a money plant (tree) but with only one stalk but leaves like the money plant coming of it.

A big field of green grass, thatís where the stream was.

Total eclipse. I got lots of images of the total eclipse."

View down the middle of three channelised lava flows active on February 16, 1991

A later attempt by Suzanne came up with the following:
"
Tingling, feel it in my tummy.

Expansive.

I feel I am whirling around, a swung around feeling, like after being on a roundabout. Feeling dizzy. Feeling nauseous.

H/A feeling sick.

Cold and shivery.

Felt generally better with eyes open.

Tension on base of skull - compressed head thing.

Tummy feels stirred up, its bringing out my weak symptoms.

Expansive and contractive at the same time. Contracting in abdomen, but expanding outward.

Coldness.

Ears - as if under water (slight pressure).

Caught in a vortex of energy.

Black stuff on top now - a bit of black on field of vision.

Sadness, like Iíve done a lot and worn out, emptiness. Sleepy? Hollow, numb.

Whole body feels as if itís ringing, tingling - like ringing in ears though whole body. Toes tingly.

Everything is on both sides."

I have done similar "provings" with Suzanne before and there are similarities with some of these other provings (and the traditional proving she did of Venus), i.e. in her, they do tend to bring out spaceyness, contracting and expanding, emptiness, numbness, tiredness, blackness, nausea and feeling cold and shivery. However, the symptoms above did link into a pattern, so I left them there. The feeling of a vortex, going round and round, and cold shivery sensations also come through in my sense of the remedy and from Rosaís wonderfully lucid perceptions.

Discussion
What is the value of such a "proving"? At this stage it is enough for me to say it was interesting and stimulating. In time, I will follow it up in some more traditional way and find out how much of the actual symptom picture relates to the above.

I do think that the difference between a traditional proving and what Rosa and Suzanne experienced is that they were possibly expressing the underlying nature of the substance whilst what we have in a traditional proving is the reaction to that in both the mind and the body. This reaction will often result in pathological symptoms that are plain to see. The more a person is able to freely express an essence or remedy that they have taken, the less likely they are to be jolted and pushed into producing the pathology. Rosa was 9 years old and particularly open to the world and able to express her experiences with confidence. Suzanne is older and less free in that way. The difference between their experiences above, I think, reflects this.

Because Suzanne and Rosa only held the remedy bottle and after a few minutes released it, I think they had only "tasted" the essence. If they were to have ingested it they may well have felt the effects more in the centre of their beings rather than on the periphery, and we may then have more "solid" symptoms to look at.

The remedy was made by concentration/meditation and was not materially connected to the substance of Hekla Lava. Does this make any difference? It is no different in that way from remedies made in radionics machines, of which there is ample proof of the effectiveness. I would like to do a traditional proving with this remedy to see how similar it is to the "normal" remedy. Results of this will be on this website in the future. Meanwhile, the remedy has worked in a curative manner for the patient for whom it was intended.

I look forward to hearing any views on this, and any other issues you have picked up here. Also, if anyone has any insight into the more subtle aspects of the remedy from their own experience, I would love to include it here.

 

Literature
The remedy was introduced by J J Garth Wilkinson (1812-99) who was on holiday in Iceland and noticed that the sheep grazing in areas where the fine ash from Hekla had fallen, had bony growths on their jaws and ankles. He realised that this must come from the ingestion of the grass which grows there, so brought back some Hekla and had it made up as a potency. As far as I'm aware no proving was actually done. I believe most of the information in Materia Medica comes from observations on the effect on animals in the region of Mount Hekla and by subsequent clinical observation of patients. The physical symptoms are well documented in most materia medica, and Iíll leave them for you to look up, whilst mental symptoms and images are rarely described.

There is an extensive article in French by Doctor Robert Sťror which could do with proper translation. In it, he goes through the literature. Here is a google translation.
In brief summary, he cautiously suggests its use in:

Growth disorders:
Osgood-Schlaters disease, Schuermann, Kohler, and possibly experience in growing pains at all levels.
Sinus polyposis.
Sinus tumors.

Odonto-stornatologie:
Alveolar-dental pyorrhea.
Trigeminal nerve, upper and lower jaws, and all true neuralgia related to tooth extraction.
Effects of tooth extraction.
Dental fistula.
Dental abscess.
Local or systemic disorders associated with teething.
Particular tropism for canines and reflex disorders in the eye and sinus.

Rheumatology:
Sacro iliac, femoral hip.
Bone tumors, infected or not.

Vermeulen
intense nervousness in the morning > towards 3pm. Outburst of violent anger (and feeling of helplessness).
"Very calm and poised person, but when provoked he used to burst into violent anger. No control Shouting at others whoever they may be, using words that offend." (Aleem).
"Gentle disposition but highly sensitive to admonitions, criticisms and injustices done to him and to others, leading to irritability. Suppressing the anger, yet when his anger went beyond control, he became violent." (Aleem, The Rhythm of Volcano, Homeopathic Links 1/94)
Ailments from shock, indignation and suppression of emotions esp. anger. (Aleem) "Volcanoes usually look gentle, but once they start erupting, they behave very violently, blasting and blazing, the hot larva destroying and hurting everything around." (Aleem).

Complete Dynamics
Below are the mind symptoms as listed in the Complete Dynamics repertory.

Themes:-
aggression
compulsions, responsibility; decreased, avoiding
distance, reservation
feelings, strong
loneliness
self-appreciation, diminished
shame, offense

Mirilli's Themes:-
anger, vexation
contradiction
fight
forsaken
friendless
helplessness
indignation
injustice
intolerance
obstinate
offended
offensive
passionate
sensitive
vexation
violence
wicked

Mind (symptom and number of remedies in that symptom):-
abrupt 92
anger 510
anger, ailments from 326
anger, violent 175
contradiction; intolerant of 117
excitement, excitable; ailments from, agg. 1174
helplessness 117
indignation 161
indignation; ailments from, agg. 125
injustice, cannot support 75
obstinate, headstrong 202
shock, ailments from 66
violence, vehemence 320

View, from the east, across the main vent.

Comparisons
The remedy that is most similar must be Hepar-sulph., - also Calc-sulph., Silica, Calc. and Sulphur.
Other remedies may be of the nature of Staph., Carc., Follic., maybe Syph., and in the mentals Plutonium? and Androc.? although not intentionally malicious - it is too elemental/fundamental/naïve for that.
Because of the significant high fluorine content, it is likely to have many Flour. aspects.

Other remedies listed are:
(Vermeulen)
Calc-fluor., Merc., Phos., Fluor-ac., Staph.;
(Boericke)
Conchiolinum - mother of pearl - diaphysis of bone affected; parts extremely sensitive to touch. Amphisboena - snake like lizard - great affinity for the jaw bones, worse by air and dampness. Slag. - great itching of parts.;
(Clarke)
Stilling., Symphyt., Kali-iod., Ruta.

References
Clarke (Dictionary of pract. mat med.), Vermeulen (Synoptic)
Volcano World (another website of interest is The Volcano Information Center )
Science Wire

Photographs taken by řorvaldur řůrūarson (Thor Thordarson) and used with his kind permission. They were from the page on the Mount Hekla eruption of 1991 at the Volcano World website.